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NATO Planes Target Libyan Capital

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TEHRAN, May 10 (ICANA) – A series of airstrikes have been launched against the Libyan capital, Tripoli, targeting the compound of Libya's dictator Muammar Gaddafi and other sites.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 9:34:17 AM
NATO Planes Target Libyan Capital

Witnesses say NATO jets carried out at least five strikes on different targets in Tripoli early Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

One of the strikes has purportedly hit a building used by the country's parliamentarians.

Another has sent plumes of smoke rising near the offices of Libyan television and the state news agency JANA.

It was not immediately known if there have been any casualties.

Reporters in the Libyan capital are not allowed to leave their hotel without government minders.

NATO warplanes have recently stepped up their attacks on targets in Tripoli, a move that came under severe criticisms from China and Russia when an attack led to the death of Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Arab, and three of the ruler's grandchildren on April 30.

Russia has frequently slammed the West, saying the attacks should be carried out within the framework of the UN Resolution 1973 which mandated the enforcement of a no-fly zone over crisis-hit Libya to protect civilians.

The Libyan government has meanwhile accused NATO of targeting civilians and says many have been killed and injured as a result of the attacks.

NATO denies the allegation and says it is targeting government forces who pose threats to the Libyan civilians.

The latest airstrikes come a day after NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said time was running out for Gaddafi and his regime.

"The game is over for Gaddafi. He should realize sooner rather than later that there's no future for him," Rasmussen said Monday.

The NATO chief also denied that the situation in Libya had devolved into a "stalemate", insisting that NATO was "making progress" in the chaotic North African country.

He, however, stressed that only a political solution could end the conflict in Libya.

Critics accuse the West of hypocrisy over the offensive in Libya, along with its silence towards the brutal crackdowns on similar anti-regime movements elsewhere in the Arab world, such as in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

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